Wednesday, April 15, 2009

February 18, 2006: En route to Cambodia

We're on day five of our Southeast Asia adventures, and I'm writing you from the FREE internet station at the Singapore airport. We departed Los Angeles Monday night and my dad gave me the best Valentine's/non-Valentine's day present EVER....we skipped Tuesday (Valentine's day) and arrived in Taipei, Taiwan on Wednesday. Amazing. Even more amazing was our flight...Singapore airlines business class. The most amazing experience ever ( were right!) I slept almost the entire way to Taipei and when I wasn't sleeping, I was catered to by the stewardess to no end!

The guy who sat next to me was a Cornell Hotel school grad that works for The Wynn in Las Vegas. He is the VP of slot operations for the hotel and was on his way to Macau to help with the opening of their new Wynn Hotel there. I had never really heard of Macau but apparently it's a huge casino mecca for Asia. There are only 8 casinos there (including Vegas's own Venetian, Wynn and the Sands) and in 2005, Macau grossed more $$ from their 8 casinos than the entire 27 casinos in Vegas. For all you blackjack gurus (Amanda, "Brandon"), put this on your radar. And it's apparently an amazingly beautiful island too just off the coast of China.

We arrived in Taipei and spent the next two days touring around the city. It was a town full of very small people (as the 5'8" blonde I felt a bit gargantuan). We saw the memorials to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and Chiang Kai-Shek and went in the largest building (office building) in the world. Bob went to the top while my mom and I lingered at the bottom. Barb isn't too keen on heights. In the evenings, we strolled the night markets where vendors have food carts, sell hand made clothing, souvenirs, etc. It was a really amazing adventure. We chose not to try the food cart fare as we recognized some "Fear Factor" style items...think pigs ears, chicken feet, pig snouts...but the restaurant food was amazing.

Singapore was next for a short stay over on the way to Cambodia. We'll return to Singapore before getting on the boat next week. Arriving into Singapore was the most beautiful sight ever....the turqouise blue water filled with boats shuttling in between the islands was incredible. Singapore is like Hawaii but with even more exotic flowers, interesting people from all over the world, and beautiful buildings and sights. The only caveat to that is the humidity! We walked around yesterday venturing to Arab Street and Little India looking at the beatiful silk cloth they sold in the various street shops on Arab Street and smelling the aroma of the curry in Little India. The sudden rainstorms enhanced the humidity and we arrived back to our hotel soaked with water dripping from our bodies (still not sure if it was sweat or rain).

Still training for the marathon. Unfortunately my ipod broke yesterday, the day before my 1 hour 45 minute run! Claire...all those fabulouse mixes for nothing! So rude! The hotel gyms have been awesome and a great venue for my perpetual running.

Well....on to our flight to Siem Reap. Now the adventure really begins! I can't wait to explore Cambodia - it will be an adventure for sure! So...i was planning to avoid the long e-mails like back in my Spain days, but apparently I'm still as verbose as always. 

Till later,


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